Microsoft Corp. has announced the availability of new and expanded technology education and skills training programs for youth as the company marked the first year of its global Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. Microsoft is increasing access to computer science education through expansion of TEALS —Technology Education And Literacy in Schools — and providing an enhanced digital literacy and technology skills curriculum through its Microsoft YouthSpark Hub.
To give youth a head start in gaining critical technology skills that are required for today’s jobs, Microsoft launched a new game-based and interactive digital literacy curriculum for Microsoft Office 2013 on the YouthSpark Hub. Through this online curriculum, youth around the world have free access to learning the basics of word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and databases. The YouthSpark Hub also includes training materials and instructional resources from Microsoft partners, such as Khan Academy and the Sprout e-course from TakingITGlobal.
In the U.S., Microsoft’s TEALS expansion will nearly double the number of high schools where software engineers are voluntarily partnering with in-service faculty to teach basic and Advanced Placement computer science courses. The expansion of the TEALS program now includes 70 schools in 12 states with 280 volunteers that will teach 3,000 students during the 2013–2014 school year.